NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - With just over a week to go until Election Day, a new poll shows Democratic New York City mayoral hopeful Bill de Blasio maintaining a sizable lead over his Republican challenger Joe Lhota.
The New York Times/Siena College Poll of likely voters gives de Blasio a 45-point lead, 68 percent to 23 percent.
Three weeks ago, the same poll showed de Blasio holding a 49-point lead.
Poll: De Blasio Maintains Overwhelming Lead Over Lhota A Week Before Election
"Approaching the homestretch of the campaign to choose New York's first new mayor in 12 years, Bill de Blasio is poised to win a lopsided victory over Joe Lhota," said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. "Over the last few weeks, Lhota has picked up a few undecided voters, however, he has failed in cutting into the more than two-thirds of likely voters who continue to support de Blasio."
LINK: Full Poll Results (pdf)
The poll released Monday showed three-quarters of those surveyed have a negative view of the GOP, including four in 10 Republicans. Lhota, who is pro-choice and pro-gay marriage, has sought to send a message he's conservative only on fiscal issues.
"I keep working on it every single day, 20 hours a day, 22 hours a day. Whatever it takes for me to get my message out, I will continue to do that," Lhota told WCBS 880's Paul Murnane. "I'm not changing my party for the sake of just changing my party. I'd rather be inside the tent changing it than outside the tent trying to change it."
If correct, the polls suggest de Blasio could break a 40-year-old voting margin record for a non-incumbent in the New York mayor's race, Murnane reported.
Asked on Monday how he'll make up the difference before Election Day, Lhota continued to appeal to voters on the issue of crime.
Lhota Continues To Attack Despite Huge Deficit In The Polls
"I've been saying from the very first day that I started campaigning that all of the advances that we've seen in New York over the last 20 years are fragile. This is a perfect example of it. Anybody who believes that we cannot fall backwards is being quite naive," he told WCBS 880's Marla Diamond.
He said Chicago is a perfect example of crime run amok.
Lhota and de Blasio will face off in their final debate on Wednesday. It had originally be scheduled for Tuesday, but both candidates said it was insensitive to hold a debate on the first anniversary of the day superstorm Sandy devastated parts of the region.
The poll, conducted from Oct. 21 to Oct. 26 has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.
Lhota continued attacking his opponent on Monday, arguing that de Blasio is all talk and no action when it comes to building affordable housing.
The issue of affordable housing has been a key talking point this election season.
As Diamond reported, Lhota pointed to the Atlantic Yards development as a perfect example.
"He's been silent because he's been bought. People who built the Barclays Center and who promised to build all of the affordable housing have given contributions to him over and over again," said Lhota.
The Republican said if he's elected, he'll hold developer Bruce Ratner's feet to the fire.
De Blasio has said he'd push developers to create more affordable housing if he becomes the next mayor.
Bill De Blasio Promises Legal Fight To Save LICH
On Monday, de Blasio joined medical professionals outside the embattled Long Island College Hospital, where 500 pink slips have gone out.
As WCBS 880's Rich Lamb reported, de Blasio vowed to legally stop the State University of New York from laying off the workers.
"Effectively, what SUNY is trying to do is close LICH at all costs and somehow put a legal fig leaf on it," said de Blasio. "We are going back with the A team, back to court. We're going to Judge Baynes again and we're asking for a specific order from Judge Baynes to stop these layoffs dead in their tracks."
He warned if the layoffs are allowed to happen, it would effectively cripple the hospital.
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